Boise opens shelter during day to help the homeless stay warm

Credit: Mike di Donato/KTVB

Boise opens shelter during day to help the homeless stay warm

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 3 at 10:21 PM

BOISE -- Tuesday signaled the start of much colder temperatures across the Treasure Valley.

However, as it gets colder this winter, it will also affect those who have nowhere to go during the day.

There are several homeless shelters in Boise that give people and families a place to stay at night, but those daytime hours can be tricky.

The City of Boise is running a day warming shelter for families at the Pioneer Neighborhood Community Center.

The shelter is specifically for families -- all adults must be with a child, and they won't allow children without their parents.

It's open from eight in the morning to three in the afternoon in an effort to fill the gaps when other shelters are closed.

"A big shortcoming is during that day time, people that are going to different shelters or finding other places to stay at night, we've kind of built our schedule to kind of help fill in those gaps," said Paul Schoenfelder with the City of Boise.

Schoenfelder says they see most families with young kids during the week, and families with school-aged kids on the weekends.

On Tuesday, they had more than 20 people at the warming shelters, and they expect it to be a busy winter.

The shelter opened on Sunday and will now be open seven day a week until the end of March.

Dr. Matthew Eastman, a family medicine doctor with Saint Alphonsus, said our bodies do a good job regulating our core temperature.

"The body has lots of mechanisms to keep itself warm when its cold, but it can't really do that in extreme temperatures," said Dr. Eastman. "So extreme of both hot and cold are hard for the body to compensate for, so when it gets really cold like it is now, some people will struggle with that."

Dr. Eastman said groups like the elderly, those who work outside, and the homeless are particularly vulnerable to the extreme cold.

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